You must have known by now that we at Autoportal, take travelling rather seriously, and being a part of our job, it becomes an added benefit for us. But as much as travelling enthralls us, we find it equally important to share our experiences with you in the form of travelogues. And if only, any one of you decides to visit the place after reading our travel journals, we consider it as a success.
And for our latest travelogue, we took the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz out for a spin to the city beautiful - Chandigarh. If you follow us closely, you might remember us taking the same Ciaz for a getaway to the world famous city Agra. Yes, we were so impressed by Maruti's mid-size sedan that we took it for another journey, this time to Chandigarh, a union territory known for its cleanliness.
Chandigarh is the state capital of Punjab and Haryana and is among the 7 UTs of India. We have travelled through the city a couple of times to other destinations for travelogues, but we never got a chance to explore it. Reason being, if you have to travel to Shimla and other hill stations, you have to pass by Chandigarh.
This time, though, we decided to skip the mountains, and stop in Chandigarh, to witness, what makes this the city beautiful. Chandigarh is an ideal place go for a weekend road trip from Delhi, as it sits some 250 kms from the capital region. The roads are well connected (NH1 goes all the way up to Chandigarh from Delhi) and smooth enough to reach the city within 4-5 hours.
A couple of reasons worth mentioning here to visit Chandigarh would be -
1. Food - Chandigarh, being part of Punjab and Haryana, has ample of north Indian food options, which luckily, won't come down too heavy on your pockets.
2. Shopping - If you happen to live in the northern part of India, you must have heard about the Sector 17 market of Chandigarh. It's no less than the famous Mall Road of Simla and has all the branded showrooms, alongside street vendors.
3. Art and Culture - Chandigarh has a rich heritage that you can witness at many cultural centres and museums.
4. Recreational activities - Chandigarh is known for Sukhna lake, a calm and serene place in the city centre, where you can do boating and see the sunset. You can also visit the Rock Garden, which is no less than the Lodhi gardens in Delhi, but with the added flavor of hand made stone sculptures and water canals.
5. Cleanliness - The cleanliness factor is enough to justify your visit to Chandigarh, also known as the city beautiful for the very same reason. Chandigarh is credited as being the most well-planned city and hygienic too, a must for Delhi citizens to visit and learn.
And let's not forget the car - Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, a reliable and comfortable partner in our journey. We had the top-spec ZXi+ petrol variant with us that is powered by a 1.4-litre unit producing 93 PS of power and 130 Nm of torque. The sedan delivered a healthy mileage figure of 17kmpl for the whole journey with two passengers and AC on all the time. The car was immensely stable at high speeds, and we had the urge to push the throttle a couple of times, which we obviously refrained ourselves from doing.
Quick Tips -
1. Don't forget to stop at the Amrik Sukhdev dhaba, at Murthal near Sonipat. Have the paranthas and white butter with hot tea.
2. Do stop at the Puran Singh's dhaba near Ambala, heaven for non-vegetarians. There are a handful of joints claiming to be Puran Singh dhaba, search wisely.
3. Don't over speed (90kmph is the limit) as the Punjab police is strict and always ready with interceptors.
4. Carry cash with you for toll taxes.
5. Beware of speeding trucks, Haryana roadways buses and over-enthusiast car drivers.